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Lecture 5

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CRIM 101
Barry Cartwright

Crim 101 Lecture 5 February 7 , 2013 1 SOCIAL CONTROL, RATIONAL CHOICE AND DETERRENCE JEREMY BENTHAM (1748-1832)  Member of the Classical School of Criminology  People were rational and exercised free will  Would employ a hedonistic calculus in deciding whether a certain action was more likely to result in pleasure than in pain UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS  Social control and rational choice theories say there is nothing unique about criminal behavior, and that motivation to engage in such behavior is quite widespread  Instead of asking why certain individuals commit crimes, social control and rational choice theorists ask why more individuals don’t commit crimes.  Notion underlying all types of control theory is that conformity cannot be taken for granted  If you want conformity and social control, you need effective socialization  If people don’t learn/internalize social conventions or norms, then social controls will break down or become ineffective WALTER RECKLESS’ CONTAINMENT THEORY  Inner containment= self control, good self- image, ability to tolerate frustration  Outer containment= family values institutional reinforcement, effective supervision  Internal pushes = restlessness, impatience, and anger  External pushes = poverty, unemployment, the media, or delinquent friends **TRAVIS HIRSCHI’S SOCIAL BOND THEORY  Attachment = ties of affection and respect with parents, school teachers  Commitment = getting good education, learning trade or profession, finding a good job  Involvement = being involved in school, recreation, with family  Belief = shared values—its wrong to steal, people should respect the law 2 Crim 101 Lecture 5 February 7 , 2013 GOTTFREDSON AND HIRSCHI’S GENERAL THEORY OF CRIME A GENERAL THEORY OF CRIME  Points to low self control as the crime of crime  Tied in with Classical School’s ―hedonistic calculus‖- people will choose to commit crimes if they perceive that prospects for pleasure outweigh prospects of pin or punishnment  Agree with opportunity theory or routine activities theory, and requirements for ― a motivated offender, the absence of a guardian, and a subtle target‖ in order for crime to take place THE CURE FOR CRIME THE CAUSE OF CRIME:  Crime is caused by low self control  In turn caused by ineffective or incomplete socialization and ineffective child-rearing THE CURE FOR CRIME:  Adequate child-rearing  Caregiver must monitor the child’s behavior, recognize deviant behavior when it occurs and punish such behavior RATIONAL CHOICE THEORY  Rational choice theories also have their roots in classical school thinking  Rational choice theorists say criminal motivation doesn’t require special explanation, because criminal motivated by the same things as everybody else- money and self gratification (hedonism)  Criminals primarily concerned with potential gains that can be realized through criminal activities, and ease which those gains can be realized  Also borrows from economic approach of pain vs. Gain  Offenders decide whether or not to commit crimes by weighing cost and benefits THE ECONOMY OF DEVIANCE  Gary Becker (1968) Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach  Employs principle of utilitarianism, just like the classical school (often referred to as neoclassicism)  Like everybody else, criminals will maximize their own self-interest Crim 101 Lecture 5 February 7 , 2013 3 COST BENEFIT RATIOS  COSTS - Risks - Difficulty - Time required - Lost opp
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